We are sad to announce that the 2009 INT US Championships have been postponed until 2010. The tour winners in each state in 2009 will be invited to participate in the 2010 US Championships in whatever division they participate in, in 2010. The location of the 2010 Championships has not been decided, but we are looking into some fun, new sites. We hope to come back next year even stronger then before.
We have made this decision based on a variety of factors, participation, event costs, and sponsorship. Unfortunately, due to the economy, participation levels are lower then expected at local INT events. The results of INT’s latest survey showed that only 30% of participants said they would attend the US Championships if invited. Three of INT’s states canceled their 2009 tours due to a lack of local sponsorship and because they were unable to get tow boats from dealers or promo boat owners. The US Championships are fully funded by participant entry fees. Without full participation the INT League cannot afford to host this event. By taking this year off, we hope that INT participants have a chance to save their money, and be ready for a wonderful experience at the 2010 US Championships.
Event costs are high and without full participation, INT cannot host the event. Each year the host hotel asks the INT League to sign a major contract to secure rooms for our participants, staff, sponsors, and awards banquet. If we were unable to fill those rooms, INT would have been responsible for a $26,000 bill and no way to pay it.
Last year INT had sponsor contracts and we budgeted accordingly, some of which were never paid. Sponsorship is down this year 37%, and INT does not have the additional revenue to subsidize the US Championships if there was a short fall in participation. We also want to be sensitive to our sponsor’s budgets. It costs quit a bit for them to come to the Championships and in this difficult economy, this would be a welcomed break.
We have tried to cut the budget as much as possible, but the costs of hosting an event of this magnitude can’t be cut enough to make it possible. INT has prided ourselves on putting on a prestigious event. Our participants pay a lot of money to get there and expect and deserve an excellent experience, we don’t want to host a US Championships that is less then first class.
The INT League is a family run business, if we were unable to meet our numbers, we would have had to shut our doors. This is a difficult time in our country’s economy; it would not be fiscally responsible to host the US Championships. We just aren’t willing to take the risk and hope that our participants and sponsors will understand and continue to come to INT events.
It has been incredibly difficult to make this decision, we feel as though we are cutting off our right arm. We have been prudent in our business practices, but due to the economy this situation is out of our control. Please continue to compete in INT events and support INT’s local and national sponsors.
The Stocks Family